When it seems like there's a constant drip of mucus down your throat, it's hard to ignore the irritation it can cause, both physically and mentally. If you've got postnasal drip, board-certified otolaryngologists Ramie A. Tritt, MD, and Gregg R. Sachs, DO, of Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. can help. They have considerable experience in treating the causes of postnasal drip and use the most up-to-date techniques to resolve this infuriating condition. Call one of their two offices in Atlanta, Georgia, today, or schedule a consultation using the online booking form.
Postnasal Drip Q & A
What is postnasal drip?
Postnasal drip is a common problem where you regularly have mucus trickling down your throat. Mucus is a natural fluid that your nose and throat produce to keep them moist inside and stop debris or harmful microorganisms from entering your body.
Normally, you swallow this mucus without being aware of it. However, if your body is making an excessive amount, you might feel it collecting in the back of your throat and dripping down.
Postnasal drip can make you feel the constant need to swallow or clear your throat. The cough that can accompany postnasal drip typically worsens at night, and you might feel nauseous from having too much mucus in your stomach. You might also have a sore throat and bad breath.
What causes postnasal drip?
Several conditions can cause postnasal drip, the most common being:
Allergies that cause respiratory symptoms like a runny nose are a frequent cause of postnasal drip.
If you have a deviated septum, it means the piece of cartilage between your nasal passages (the septum) is out of line, which affects the drainage of mucus.
Upper respiratory tract infections
Colds, flu, sinusitis, and other conditions affecting your nose and throat typically cause a significant increase in mucus production.
Other triggers for postnasal drip include pregnancy, dry air, spicy foods, and changes in the weather.
How is postnasal drip treated?
Medications can often help treat postnasal drip. Decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®) are useful for reducing congestion and postnasal drip, and saline nasal sprays can help keep your nasal passages moist.
If allergies are responsible for your postnasal drip, non-drowsy antihistamines such as loratadine-pseudoephedrine (Claritin®) could help. Your provider at Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. can also provide extra help for allergies, including immunotherapy.
An innovative therapy for nonallergic rhinitis is ClariFix® cryotherapy treatment. This device uses cold to interfere with the signals from your nerves that cause your nose to run.
The entire process takes about one-half to one hour, so it's far less time-consuming. Your recovery is also much faster, with patients able to get back to normal activities the day of and at the latest the day after their ClariFix procedure.
Postnasal drip that's due to acid reflux needs treating with medications like H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors. If you have persistent postnasal drip, your provider at Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. might prescribe a steroid nasal spray.
Would I need surgery for postnasal drip?
Most often, the Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. team can eliminate postnasal drip without the need for surgery. However, if the cause of your postnasal drip is a deviated septum, you might need to undergo a surgery called septoplasty to straighten the septum.
Postnasal drip isn't usually a serious problem, but it can be irritating and frustrating. To resolve your postnasal drip, call Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. today or book an appointment online.